Jay’Mi Vazquez – News Editor
Although retention and enrollment rates remain low, students expressed their opinions on the current diversity amongst undergraduate students.
Nursing major Kalangi Pedro, a freshman, said that she feels the diversity at the university is great.
“I came from a high school that wasn’t the most diverse. So, transferring to Southern from a community college was a big change. Seeing how many students there are here and how students of each race are prevalent is good,” Pedro said. “Seeing African American students heavily immersed and represented on campus makes me extremely happy.”
Pedro said that she is excited about continuing her academic journey at the university in hopes that the diversity grows even more.
Computer science major Brian Hathaway, a junior, said that campus is very diverse with the number of students that attend.
“It gives us a different outlook on life from different perspectives. So, you’ll learn a lot from different people,” Hathaway said.
Recreational therapy major Paola Rodriquez, a junior, said that you can walk around the university and see many people, especially people of color.
“Diversity is really important. It makes you feel welcomed at a place,” Rodriquez said.
The university is one of the most diverse college campuses in the state of Connecticut.
Students of color make up 47% of the university undergraduate population, which is over 8,500 people. The class of 2027, which has around 1,300 scholars, is one of the most diverse classes in university history, containing 63% students of color.
“Southern is the most diverse university in the state of Connecticut,” Interim President Dwayne Smith said.
Rodriquez said if the university lacked diversity, then she would not have felt welcomed.
Special education major Katie Ryan, a sophomore, said that the campus is very diverse.
Ryan feels that it is nice to see other races. She feels every group gets treated with their own events, organizations and other activities.
“It’s nice. It is good for students to feel welcomed but also accepted in college. Most high schools don’t really prepare you or reflect how the college community really is. So, the campus community at Southern is different because it is so large with a lot of different type of students,” Ryan said.
Nursing major Gabriella Jordan, a junior, said that the university has a wide range of students, and each racial group is celebrated equally.
“With like all the Gala events they host and how many events happen on campus, I feel like every race is represented equally because I believe we are or one of the most diverse campuses in the state,” Jordan said.
Jordan said the diverse range of people that attend the university is what makes it so special.
“The unique perspectives and people that are here is what make this place so special. It is needed that universities are diverse because without that element, you kind of lose the point of trying to market a school as a community,” Jordan said.